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Portsmouth Herald: Metal Trades Council endorses Shea-Porter

Council President: “She is a strong, hardworking, roll-your-sleeves up fighter”

Portsmouth Herald: Metal Trades Council endorses Shea-Porter

Suzanne Laurent

PORTSMOUTH – With the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as a backdrop, Paul O'Connor, president of the Metal Trades Council, gave Democratic U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter an endorsement from the shipyard workers in her bid for re-election to New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District.

O’Connor recognized Shea-Porter’s efforts to keep the shipyard open and minimizing the impact of sequestration as well as working with the shipyard leadership and labor management with many issues including workplace rights.

“Since the year 2000, our economic impact on the Seacoast has become more significant year by year,” O’Connor said during a press conference in Prescott Park. “Last year alone between business services, contract work and our salaries, the shipyard pumped about $650 million into the Seacoast economy.”

O’Connor said that trend will continue and in fiscal year 2015, the shipyard will be hiring 715 new employees.

Carol has been instrumental in millions of dollars of upgrades to our infrastructure and modernization of our facilities, which is critical in order for us to maintain our leadership role in naval maintenance,” he said.

He thanked Shea-Porter for securing the $25 million TIGER grant for the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge.

“The replacement of that bridge is significant for New Hampshire and Maine interstate commerce but is vital for our shipyard,” O’Connor said.

He said only one of the two candidates running for the 1st Congressional district “supports the working men and women.”

“Only one of those candidates stands up to oppose corporations when they overstuff their pockets at the expense and exploitation of their workers or ship their jobs overseas,” he said. “Only one candidate in this election supports equal pay for equal work and supports a workable, livable minimum wage or supports labor rights, workplace rights and collective bargaining rights. That is Carol Shea-Porter.”

This is the shipyard’s fifth endorsement for Shea-Porter.

She is a strong, hardworking, roll-your-sleeves up fighter for the middle class, for our shipyard, for the community, for New Hampshire and for our nation,” O’Connor concluded.

Shea-Porter thanked O’Connor and the shipyard workers present for the endorsement.

“You know we all have salt water in our veins here,” she said. “We know how important the shipyard is, and the men and women working there are committed to making sure we have national security. They are the best workers and everybody knows that.”

Shea-Porter said she felt proud standing in Prescott Park and hearing the sounds coming from across the Piscataqua River from the shipyard.

“From the very beginning, when I stood outside the gates when they tried to close the PNSY, I knew that we had to have the shipyard for national security and for our economy,” she said.

“We have a responsibility here to make sure our country is always prepared to protect our economy and our folks here. I’m very honored to accept this endorsement. You can count on me to continue to do the work that we have done together.”



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